Eight of the Biggest Social Media Mistakes Brands Make and How To Solve Them

What are the biggest social media mistakes that brands make on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? There are many blunders, but here are some of the most prevalent ones and how to solve them.

Pushing out one sided “ads” for a product. Nothing is more of a turn off in the social media world than only promoting your product, brand or service. No one wants to be “sold.”

Not sharing or re-tweeting useful information that is related to the product. Think about ways to be helpful to people so they will want to follow you or your brand and that includes retweeting or sharing info that’s relevant when it makes sense to your product or brand. Share relative industry or consumer info that compliments your product, brand or service. For example, if you have a sports product, tweet, retweet and/or share info on complimentary products or health tips.

Failing to interact with followers or fans and forgetting that the name of the game is “social” media. Social media is not only about how many likes or retweets your posts receive and claiming the metrics as “success.” Support and engage your followers and fans in a genuine and authentic manner. Have fun, be real, but be careful. Don’t overshare or be too casual. Use the unique social media opportunity to connect with product and brand fans and convert them into what Peter Shankman calls “Zombie Loyalists.”

Marianne Schwab and Peter Shankman

Marianne Schwab and Peter Shankman

Not actively managing social media platforms. In today’s 24/7 world, it is imperative that your social media accounts are actively managed to prevent a crisis or to respond to one. There has never been a time in history where a company has immediate access to its customers (and visa versa) and have to hope and pray that broadcast and/or print media gets your company message out during a crisis.   Don’t just issue a press release. Proactively use social media resources.

Forgetting that social media platforms work differently. Social media platforms are not created equal to one another and have different “rules” and personalities. It is important to understand how each one interacts with users to avoid a complete fiasco. Twitter works very differently from Facebook or Instagram and people may use one or all of these resources to connect with their social networks, but they use them in different ways and sometimes for different audiences in their social networks (for example, for family and friends only versus business colleagues).

Not following your local reporters and anchors. Twitter and Facebook offer amazing opportunities to connect and build relationships with reporters and anchors. Be helpful to them and engage them outside of pitching them so that when you do have a great pitch for their publication or program, they’ll know you and respect you because you’ve built a relationship.

Not having an active blog that connects to consumers to steer fans and followers to your social media channels. Blogs are one of the most neglected and overlooked ways to connect with people who love your product or brand. First, if you use search engine optimization correctly, new consumers will find your brand or may be converted to it because you can establish credibility and trust. Second, use the company blog to provide great info that will educate them on your industry (not just your product) and provide complimentary content or resources and make sure the blog is not “faceless.” Designate an expert in the company or several experts in the company to write the blog. For example, if you have a vitamin company and have an R.D. on staff or a CEO who has nutritional credentials, they should share their expertise.

Not being an active social media user. The biggest reason that so many companies make social media mistakes that hurt their brand or product is because they are not immersed in the social media world themselves. You can read about it. You can rely on consultants and experts, but the best way to truly get the most out of this tool is to use it for yourself.


Marianne Schwab and Gary Vaynerchuck

I actively engage on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and it makes a dramatic difference to my understanding of the social media world.   I met Gary Vaynerchuk in 2011 and was concerned that I was late to the social media party and he encouraged me that it was just getting started. I now have a respectable 11,450 Twitter followers (and growing) as @TravelProducer and my travel blog gets a steady 50,000 plus page views monthly. I have also actively co-hosted Twitter parties for #NUTS, #TNI, and #FRIFOTOS over the years in addition to growing other Twitter accounts to thousands of targeted followers easily and quickly.

It’s not too late to readjust your social media strategy to use this exciting media tool effectively for your public relations campaigns and more.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Copyright (c) 2015. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.



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